Why I Buy Organic

I just read an article on Yahoo about the top 10 dirtiest fruits and vegetables,. http://shine.yahoo.com/channel/food/10-dirty-fruits-and-veggies-2451593/.

        and while it wasn’t new information for me; after reading it, I felt even more convicted to continue eating organically!    I have eaten organic much of my life, due to having grown up on a farm. But much of that was accidental since my busy farmer dad just never got around to spraying our gardens and orchards. Of course, when he did use spray it was DDT , so he actually did us all a favor! However, my mom didn’t see it that way, and I can still remember her fussing @ him about how the insects were eating up the peaches, etc.   But once I left my parents’ home,  I got away from eating mostly organic.  In college, I had to eat the cafeteria food served at the college cafeteria, and then after graduation, when money was tight, I ate whatever I could find on sale at the local grocery store.   

Fast forward twenty years… What actually convinced me to go organic? It was a health scare. I’d love to say it happened by my conviction for a healthier lifestyle, but it was actually because I had to return for a second mammogram.  Thankfully, it turned out I just had high density breast tissue, but…it scared me into more healthy eating.  And with a two-year-old to raise, I was very motivated to be around– for her.   Through my reasearch of how to avoid breast cancer, and cancer in general, I began to see a connection between breast cancer health and organic eating,–especially increasing  the consumption of green vegetables.  “Eat more colorful food,” I read. Not in a-red velvet cake-kind of way, but in a-dark green veggies & fruit kind of way. 

 Before it was all the rage to eat ‘in season’, we did it out of necessity while growing up on the farm.  Back at the farm……we-ate tomatoes in the summer; we had so many tomatoes we were flagging people down on the dirt road, to see if they wanted any tomatoes.  And this was only after we had canned  tomatoes, canned salsa, and given away all we could get our friends, church friends, and neighbors to take! My dad also grew watermelons, like those cute little ones, they now call “personal sized”@ Whole Foods, you know?  City kids had lemonade stands, but my sister and I sold watermelons. We’d get the wheel barrow, fill it up, push it to the side of the road, and put up a sign. WATERMELONS, 25, 50, and 75 cents each!  (She and I each had our own umbrellas, that clamped on the top of our lawn chairs.) So it was really fun, and we felt like such entrepreneurs….  And there wasn’t usually much traffic that came our way, but when there was, we’d wave until the cars would stop, and after the dust settled– (dirt road, remember) we would go into the sales pitch. After about 3 hours in the summer heat, we’d pack it in, roll the wheelbarrow back to the house, and go inside. But now that it’s “cool” to eat “in season,” I am certainly happy to take advantage of cheaper prices to eat those ‘in season” fruits and vegetables while getting more variety. 

photo by AJ Barker

Having a daughter was another reason, I wanted to go organic. I want to enjoy her time with me as long as I can,  so I felt strongly the way to carry out that was to go as organic as possible. I didn’t want her to go through the panic I felt when a routine mammogram spurned my doctor to request a followup mammogram.  I still remember the dread as I waited for the results!   And for me, the way to keep that from happening was to definitely change our eating habits. That began with  going totally organic on–fruits, vegetables, grains, milk, eggs, and meat. I can discuss more pricing details in a later post, but I especially love the taste of organic milk. Drinking organic 2% is like drinking conventional whole milk. The taste and consistency is better. However, the cost of a half-gallon of organic milk runs around $3.25 while conventional milk is around $2.15. So, yes, you do pay a little extra. Of course, I would prefer the test of raw unpasteurized milk, but I have access to none. (If anyone in or around Memphis, knows of a dairy where I can purchase this, PLEASE let me know!)   

Speaking of dairy farms, and farms, I also feel strongly about supporting organic farms, especially those locally or regionally.  That being said, if the meat processing done in America is inconsistent with my views on using hormones and antibiotics, (I am against that)I will  gladly buy meat from another country, as long as I knew about the processing plant’s practices.  I love that Whole Foods supplies the freshest meat and fish around, and I am very thankful I have one within 15 minutes of my house! I wish for everyone that this fantastic company would open others stores everywhere so everyone can benefit from its goodness.  I plan to write a future post about how to shop minimalist and economically @ Whole Foods.       

My organic mission would move toward cosmetics as the years went on. I became aware that there was no point to organic eating while also putting toxic chemicals on my body. I actually started reading the ingredients, and researching what those ingredients contained and did. 

The Truth About Beauty is a book by Kat James, is packed with information on sources for organic and natural makeup and remedies. Awesome, awesome book.  It has been out a few years, and I hope Kat James  is conducting research for another! Her writing and recommendations have very informative. Maybe it’s because she spent seven years researching for the book. She also has a website called http://www.informedbeauty.com you could check out.

-Another book I love is Train Up Children The Way They Should Eat, by Sharon Broher. Awesome, awesome! Radical, but awesome, and I hope she is working on a new book, too!    

 While the price of organic food is a bit higher, I’d rather ‘pay now than pay later’.  And while doctors are fantastic resources in keeping my family healthy,  I don’t want to hang out in their offices too often.   

-Cleaning supplies. When it comes to cleaning supplies, I use what doesn’t smell  bad. (Ok, except for vinegar, which is a great disinfectant, and the smell of vinegar goes away after a few hours.)  I love the clean with stuff out of my kitchen cabinet like baking soda, lemon, salt. These are great for scouring.  Ketchup and salt shines copper, too.  The only thing I really buy is Tilex to clean the shower, and the smell is awful, so I use it sparingly. It has chlorine in it which isn’t good for marine life.  And if I ever find something that works better, I will be happy to give that up!  

I don’t know your feelings on going organic, but I’d love to! Please leave a comment!   And, please sharing this article on Facebook or Twitter, you’ll help me grow my blog! Thanks!

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